Remember when technology was exciting?
Al Mandel used to say "the step after ubiquity is invisibility" and man was he right about that. Above you’ll see a chart from the Google Computers and Electronics Index, which shows the ranking of queries using words like "Windows, Apple, HP, Xbox, iPad" -- you get the picture. The actual terms have changed a bit since the index started in 2004 as products and companies have come and gone, but my point here is the general decline.
Just as Al predicted, as technology has become more vital to our lives we’ve paradoxically become less interested, or at least do less reaching out. Maybe this is because technologies become easier to use over time or we have more local knowledge (our kids and co-workers helping us do things we might have had to search on before).
Whatever the reason, I think it is mirrored in the decline of specialist technology publications. What happened to BYTE Magazine? Actually the last editor of BYTE, my friend Rafe Needleman, is the new editor of Make Magazine (there were a number of steps in between for Rafe) so maybe there are technology search upticks like 3D printing and Raspberry Pi computers just as we yawn over Windows 10 or iOS 9.
Where it was once enough to be a user, maybe the geeks among us now need to be masters. It’s an ironic return not to the PC glory days of the 90s, but to the PC experimenter days of the 70s. Or so it seems. Whatever the reason, we’re certainly more blasé than we used to be about this stuff that has come to absolutely control our lives.